Tom Hanks Archives
Saving Private Ryan

Character: Jean-Luc Despont
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Robert Rodat
Produced by: Allison Lyon Segan, Bonnie Curtis, Gary Levinsohn, Ian Bryce, Kevin De La Noy
Other cast: Matt Damon, Tom Sizemore, Edward Burns, Barry Pepper
Release date: July 24, 1998
Genre: Drama, War
Running time: 2h 49min

Captain John Miller takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Surrounded by the brutal realties of war, while searching for Ryan, each man embarks upon a personal journey and discovers their own strength to triumph over an uncertain future with honor, decency and courage.


→ In the Last Great Invasion of the Last Great War, The Greatest Danger for Eight Men was Saving… One.
→ The mission is a man.
→ There was only one man left in the family, and the mission was to save him.


♦ When Tom Hanks’ character tells the rest of the unit what he does for a living back home, Hanks’ speech was much longer in the original script. But Hanks felt that his character wouldn’t have said so much about himself, and he told director Steven Spielberg so. Spielberg agreed, and the speech was shortened.
♦ In 2006, Tom Hanks was inducted into the U.S. Army’s Ranger Hall of Fame as an honorary member, largely thanks to his portrayal of Captain John Miller.
♦ The actors all had to undergo an intensive pre-shoot six-day boot camp during which all but one of them voted to quit, as they found it too arduous. The one dissenting voice was Tom Hanks, who thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Naturally, his vote counted the most, so the rest of the actors were obligated to complete their training.